Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Multifamily Sector Improves during First Quarter

Magazine article Mortgage Banking

Multifamily Sector Improves during First Quarter

Article excerpt

EXPECT THE MULTIFAMILY SECTOR OF THE housing market to continue to improve following a positive first quarter of 2005, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), Washington, D.C.

Multifamily starts were up in all sectors during the first quarter compared with the same period in 2004--including for-sale, affordable rentals and market-rate rentals--while occupancy levels also increased in every class of rental apartments, as did prospective renters, asking rents and effective rents, according to NAHB's Multifamily Market Index (MMI).

The index for class-B apartments--the mid-range rent category--rose more than 15 points during the first quarter from a year earlier, to a reading of 60.4. A score of more than 50 means more multifamily builders and property owners report positive market conditions, according to NAHB.

Demand for luxury units rose 13.5 points over the previous year's first quarter, while demand for modestly priced apartments rose 6.2 points. MMI survey respondents also indicate they expect this positive trend to continue for the next six months.

The index, which tracks the number of apartments available for rent, continued to drop--from 60.4 in the first quarter of 2004 to 45.8 in the first quarter of this year. …

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